As a radio jockey, I presented many live radio shows on the FM Gold channel until 2014. (It used to broadcast on 106.4 MHz back then).
My listeners are upset with me because now I rarely host radio shows on FM Gold, and I feel I owe them an explanation since they are the sole reason for my being a radio jockey. So here it is:
10th December 2003. A remarkable day of my life—I hosted my first radio show on FM Gold channel from studio number 30 of All India Radio’s Delhi station @0700hrs. Show’s title: FM Subah 7 Baje.
Here’s a brief list of other radio shows I presented.
- Radio Yatra
- Hello FM Gold
- Radio Rhythm
- Radio Reel
- Yeh Rastein Yeh Manzilein
- Ye Shaam Mastani
- Sadabahar Dus Gaane
- Sangeet dot com
- Shukravar Raat Gold
- Shanivar Subhah Ki Chai
- Chutti Ke Bahane
- Shanivar Raat Gold
- Ravivar Subah Ki Chai
- Ravivar Raat Gold
As you can see, I did almost all the shows (loads of them) from 2003 to 2013 (and still do but only once in a while).
Creating radio shows back then was fun because we had the liberty to “create” something out of thin air with our imagination, dreams, and fantasies. Post-2013, I noticed that a bunch of delusional people (who thought they “owned” FM Gold) started “forcing” the RJs into taking orders about what should a radio show sound like. Well, I must admit that as an artist, I am pretty bad at taking orders from people who don’t know even the ABCs of radio broadcasting.
Times Changed. Something Unfortunate Happened
The situation worsened over time.
And now, All India Radio doesn’t need presenters to create radio shows; instead, they need “workers” to produce the shows (similar to laborers working on toys on an assembly line).
The moment you “produced” a radio show, it’s dead because you took out its soul in the process.
If you are a regular listener of the FM Gold channel, you must have noticed the gradual decline in the quality.
The (so-called) quality control system bullies and harasses the artists. And promotes the “workers” in the name of compliance and obedience, instead.
And in doing so, they missed the point, which is…
An Artist Cannot Be Tamed or Made to Behave in Specific Ways
That’s the difference between an art and a job. In a job, the worker is supposed to follow orders and do as instructed. In fact, he does not have the liberty to create—he’s expected to deliver as directed.
On the other hand, art is spontaneous and unpredictable. And so no one can predict the outcome, not even the artist himself. And that is the charm of being an artist—you are free to create anything out of thin air, and because the outcome is not set in stone, you can stir people with your craft and create sheer beauty.
Essentially, you can mold a worker as you wish because he is fearful of losing his job, but you cannot tame an artist because being fearless is the first requirement to become one.
The fact of the matter is that I worked hard to become a radio broadcaster. It took me almost four years to have one successful voice audition. There was a charm, a grace, a creative satisfaction in being a radio jockey.
I always strived to create a better radio show than the last one (which I feel was the effect of my training I did sincerely in 2002 for almost two months). Cueing audio cassettes, fetching cue sheets, delivering production sheets from studios to duty rooms, and sometimes even lunch and snacks for the radio presenters on duty had its own joy.
And why did I do all that?
Because my mentor, Mr Vijay Deepak Chhibber once asked me to take my training “seriously.” Now, I must say I was fortunate to get training from him because the insights about broadcasting he gave me were invaluable. His words inspired and guided me in times of on-air crises, and they still nourish me as a voice actor.
Now, in the end, all I want to say is this:
Creating radio shows is an art. That’s why artists worship Goddess Saraswati and not Lord Vishwakarma. When you start producing radio shows instead of “creating” them, they cease to be a piece of art.
Keep your “production.” I am in love with my art. 🙂